The work to replace the battered Glover Road Overpass in Langley officially began last week, one of the first phases in expanding Highway One from 216th Street to 264th.
“We know that people need to go where they need to go much more quickly,” said Minister of Transportation Rob Fleming, who joined other politicians at the site for the symbolic groundbreaking.
Replacing the overpass is a necessary first step before the four-lane highway can be expanded to a six-lane one, Fleming said.
It will also raise the clearance of the overpass from the current 4.3 metres to the current standard of 5.2 metres.
That will be a big improvement, since trucks with overheight loads have repeatedly slammed into the aging overpass – as well as some of its neighbours, including 232nd Street and 192nd Street – in recent years. Some of those impacts have necessitated expensive and lengthy repairs, temporary one-way traffic, and reinforcement of the impacted areas.
Fleming also pointed out that the new crossing will allow Langley Township to improve its active transport network. The current overpass has one sidewalk on the eastern side. The new one will have three-metre-wide multi-use pathways on both sides for cyclists and pedestrians.
The minister also said the project was “really going to help grow transit.” Bus Rapid Transit was a possibility for the area in teh future, he noted.
“Long, long overdue,” was how Township Mayor Eric Woodward described the upgrade.
“Today’s announcement is a mark of our strong partnerships with the province of B.C. and the Township of Langley,” said Cloverdale-Langley City MP John Aldag.
“I know it will benefit drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists alike,” said Megan Dykeman, MLA for the Langley riding.
The new overpass will be closed down as construction continues, with the new one opening in the summer of 2024.
In the meantime, light vehicle traffic will be detoured west to the 216th Street overpass, while heavy truck traffic is diverted to the 232nd Street overpass to the east.
The entire highway widening project, including upgrades of overpasses and interchanges, is budgeted at $345 million. The federal government is contributing $95.9 million, the province is putting in $225.58 million, and the Township is contributing $23.37 million.
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